Kamaru Usman is hoping to be active in 2021 and eyes his next title defense against Michael Chiesa, his manager, Ali Abdelaziz revealed.
After Usman knocked out Jorge Masvidal in the second round at UFC 261, Dana White confirmed Colby Covington would be next. However, according to Abdelaziz, he and Usman don’t know why Covington is so special and believe he needs to get another win. Instead, they are hoping they can fight again in June against Michael Chiesa.
“Kamaru in the last 10 months fought three times, Colby in the last three years, fought three times. After Kamaru destroyed his jaw and disfigured his face, Kamaru went and fought three times, defend against very tough opponents,” Abdelaziz said to ESPN about Usman. “He (Colby Covington) went and fought Woodley, the guy is not even in the UFC anymore, he’s 40-years-old and beat him. Maybe Colby Covington is good for business, who cares. Chiesa, four-fight winning streak, Vicente Luque three-fight winning streak, Leon Edwards, nine-fight winning streak? Why (is) Colby Covington so special? What about Kamaru, if Marvin Vettori beats Israel Adesanya, why (doesn’t) Kamaru go up and fight Marvin Vettori for the middleweight title?
“Listen, Kamaru earned every right to do what he wants right now. But, we are respectful to Dana and his wishes and we are going to work together regardless,” Abdelaziz continued about Usman wanting to stay active. “We will make it happen. Kamaru called me yesterday, he said June 12, let’s do Michael Chiesa. He asked me who had the longest winning streak in the division in the top five or six, I said Chiesa, he said June 12, (Chiesa) doesn’t have a fight. It doesn’t really matter who. He said let’s do Michael Chiesa, ask the UFC if I can fight on June 12. I told the UFC, Kamaru can fight three more times this year.”
Although Chiesa is what Usman and Abdelaziz want, it’s uncertain that will happen. The promotion already has two title fights in June, and they will likely want Usman’s next title defense in August or September. However, the opponent isn’t certain as it appears Usman and Abdelaziz want Chiesa next, not Colby Covington.